HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed
HTS Overall Score:65
Hailed as the “King of Clean” comedy, it’s nice to sit down and watch a comedian without making 100% sure that the kids are out of the house and no one else is in earshot. Not saying that I don’t enjoy a comedian who utilizes some language I don’t use, but after a while humor starts to lose its edge when it turns into “shock” humor, where only about 5 words in the entire act are longer than 4 letters, if you get my drift. Gaffigan is one of those comedians who can pull a wide range of work, being a regular on “That 70’s show”, “Letterman”, “Conan”, “SNL” and doing the standard acting gigs, making cameos in things like “Super Troopers” (Meow how can I help you?”) etc. His Comedy Central shows are some of the best received performances in the nation as he pulls in almost as much success as the veritable king of modern comedy, Jeff Dunham.
I first saw Gaffigan watching “That 70’s Show” and “Super troopers” never realizing that he was a standup comic until much later. “Into the Pale” was hilarious and he hit his peak with “Mr. Universe”, now out with a new show “Obsessed” I was wondering if he could keep the high that he had from “Mr. Universe”. I came to the conclusion, that while not AS funny as “Mr. Universe” it’s still some very good comedy. If you’re a Gaffigan fan you know that one of his favorite topics to wax witty about is food. He loves his food and loves to make fun of his own issues with food. The best way to describe his shows is to say that they are most like a sandwich. Layers of standard comical jokes wedged in between layers of jokes about food. More like a triple decker sandwich to be exact. Here he waxes eloquent on the trials and tribulations of fast food, getting married, donuts, vacations, his love of fried bread and much more. As with all his shows Gaffigan just coasts through with the calm demeanor of one who’s just having a good time. He never is wildly animated but still can generate a facial expression that says it all for you (along with his cornucopia of voices and imitations). What makes Jim so funny is that his main subject, food, is a cause for concern and ridicule for most people. We’ve all struggled with weight issues at one point or another and every jab and joke about the trials and tribulations of working out, or pigging out hit home at some level. His affable demeanor and self-depreciating humor is comfortable and relaxing, never pulling us out with the traditional screaming and yellow of so many comedians today.
While the show was a lot of fun, it had its fair share of flaws as well. Maybe I was expecting too much from him after “Mr. Universe”, but some of the jokes, while funny, just didn’t make me roll on the floor as I usually do. The show also felt a bit choppy at times, the switch from joke to joke just didn’t seem as smooth of a transition as his shows usually are and that just felt awkward at times. Overall they were just minor nitpicks, since I had an enjoyable time and wouldn’t mind popping it on the player with some friends for a good laugh.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=15225[/img]“Obsessed” is shot live on stage and as a result you’ll notice all the flaws of a place that wasn’t set up for filming as its number one priority. A spotlight on stage with tons of neon lights in the background all in a dark room. The film looks as good as it can considering that hurdle to come over, but it’s not a stunner that’s for sure. The black levels are mediocre, and washed out from all the lights on stage (which is our focus), competing for all of the darkness that the audience is enveloped in. The detail looks pretty decent with that in mind, ranging from excellent to poor depending on which camera is pointed where. When the focus is on Jim, up close, the detail pops, with every fiber and thread of his pants and jacket showing, but when the camera turns on the audience, it’s riddled with noise from all of the darkness that it’s trying to focus on. Contrasts are a bit blown with all the lights and flesh tones are pretty accurate, but overall it’s just a mediocre picture (but then again, when we’re watching a stand-up act the picture isn’t exactly what we’re looking at).
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=15226[/img]The audio isn’t a half bad track, I have to say. It’s nothing that could have been helped, considering it’s a standup comedy track and really is just focused on the center channel with some ambience thrown in for good measure. The dialogue (which is the real winner) is spot on perfect, recorded beautifully and well balanced. The other 4 speakers are really just there to pick up the audience noises and makes us feel like one of the crowd. Front heavy, but rightfully so, the 5.1 Dolby TrueHD does it’s admirably. There’s also a 2.0 DD track, and it’s very similar to the 5.1 track, just a bit softer and a bit less “full” with the audience noise.
“Obsessed” isn’t as good as 2012’s “Mr. Universe”, but Jim Gaffigan is firing on all 4 cylinders as he talks about food, weddings, food, trips, food, having children and some more about food. It’s never at the point where you’re rolling on the floor, but the laughs are steady and witty, playing off of the crowd’s reactions and rolling with it as per Gaffigan usual. The video and audio are nothing to write home about, but the content is very solid. For those of you who are just getting interested in Jim, I’d check out “Mr. Universe” first, but for fans you can’t go wrong. Definitely check it out.
Starring: Jim Gaffigan
Directed by: Jay Chapman
Written by: Jim Gaffigan
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1, DD 2.0 Stereo
Runtime: 100 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: April 29th, 2014
Buy Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed Blu-ray on Amazon
More about Mike